37% of IT pros to look for new jobs in 2017

IT pros aim to boost cybersecurity, networking, virtualization skills in coming year

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If your IT department isn’t already worried about staff retention, some new stats might change that. A new poll finds 37% of IT pros plan to begin searching for a new employer in 2017, and 26% plan to accept a new job.

Many factors are driving people’s desire for a job change, according to Spiceworks’ 2017 Tech Career Outlook. The most frequently cited reasons are: to advance my IT skills (cited by 69%); to get a more competitive salary (64%); to work at a company that makes IT more of a priority (40%); I’m burnt out at my current job (40%); to find a better work-life balance (38%); to get better benefits (401k, healthcare) (33%); to work with a more talented IT team (26%); to get better work-from-home options (24%); to get a better job title (22%).

More than half (59%) of respondents believe they’re underpaid, yet only 24% expect a salary increase from their current employer in excess of 5% in 2017, and only 12% expect a promotion.

Faith in the hiring climate is another driver: 70% of respondents expect the IT job market to remain favorable in 2017, which is inspiring many IT pros to seek out higher paying jobs with greater potential for advancement.

“Many IT professionals believe they’re underpaid and their department is underfunded,” said Peter Tsai, IT analyst at Spiceworks, in a statement. “This is leading many tech professionals to take advantage of the favorable job market expected next year and seek employers that prioritize their IT department, invest in tech talent, and provide adequate resources IT professionals need to be successful."

On the flip side, 61% of IT professionals feel appreciated by their current employer, Spiceworks finds.

Continuous skills development is a hallmark of IT, and respondents to Spiceworks’ survey have plans in this area, too. When asked which skills IT pros plan to improve in the coming year, IT pros prioritized security/cybersecurity (cited by 62% of respondents), networking (56%), and virtualization (45%) skills.

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When asked what IT tasks will be the most challenging next year, most IT professionals said getting business leaders to understand the importance of IT priorities and fund critical IT projects. IT pros also expect to face challenges associated with keeping their organization’s data secure, ensuring IT infrastructure is up to date, and upgrading end-of-life software and operating systems on time.

Spiceworks makes free IT management software and has built a community of IT pros. Its survey included 476 respondents from North America and EMEA. For more details, see the full report.

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